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Being Defensive

May 8, 2010

Some thoughts, decorated with creations of the day:

Recently I’ve been reading a lot of stuff from different sites and books re: veganism/vegetarianism/”flexitarian” and I find myself constantly debating the merits of all three. At the moment I’m really diggin’ being vegetarian, but who knows how long I’ll keep it up. I do feel a lot healthier overall and somehow I’m less stressed out about what to eat and what to cook. As soon as I stopped worrying about getting enough protein, life got a lot easier and turns out, I get plenty. I became a vegetarian #1 because meat started grossing me out, #2 because with everything I read I become more and more convinced that animal protein isn’t so great for you, #3 because most of the meat that I come across is NOT organic, grass fed, free range blah blah, #4 because I feel a lot more creative with recipes and flavor combinations when meat is taken off of the table (ha..ha).

Cashew Butter, Pumpkin Butter and Blueberry Jam

With Coffee

So why not be vegan? The other day I was talking to a good friend who is vegan. He was telling me that he’s become really strict, and that he won’t eat dairy, eggs, meat, or fish because it’s just not good for you. Plenty of books and movies are telling me that I should be vegan and they seem to have some pretty convincing evidence….so why would I ever eat that stuff? I became really insecure and felt like I was being negatively judged for continuing to eat eggs and dairy (I definitely was NOT being judged, it was all just in my crazy head of mine). The fact is that I wasn’t able to defend myself and was stuck….why DO I eat dairy and eggs if being healthy is a huge part of my life, and I don’t believe that food from animals is very good for you? Here goes:

Egg White Omelet with Fresh Basil and Sautéed Peppers

1. Health. I consider myself a healthy person. I exercise a lot and have a balanced wholesome diet. The occasional yogurt, egg or non-vegan baked good isn’t going to give me some horrible disease or disrupt my athleticism, they actually make me feel pretty good (well not the baked goods, those just make me feel happy).

2. Pleasure. Pleasure is a huge part of human nature. Why on earth would I go through life denying myself certain pleasures just because they might not always be good for me. What kind of life is that? I drink coffee and alcohol, I spend money on things I don’t need, I waste tons of time on the internet, none of these things are exactly good for my body, wallet, or productivity, but they’re good for my soul.

3. Community. I can’t even imagine how many experiences in life are centered around eating. People bond over food because it’s something that everyone has in common. Being vegan seems like it would have some seriously negative effects on my social life. I would never want to be an inconvenience to someone inviting me over for dinner, and would hate to miss out on an amazing cheese tasting or ice cream outing because I have the label of being vegan. Something similar has happened here in China: as soon as I stopped wanting to eat Chinese food, I stopped being invited places. Simple as that.

**Rosemary Bean Burger with Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes" My fork got caught in the blender...

A lot of my feelings are also summed up on this post by Matt of No Meat Athlete:

I guess that being questioned is a good thing because it gives me the chance to confirm my own beliefs. Anyone else ever deal with defending certain diet decisions?

What Are These???? They tasted like nectarines but looked like cherries...

**Rosemary Bean Burgers:

1 can kidney beans (or black, or pinto, or whatever)

1/2 onion

1-2 tbsp flour

Rosemary, S&P

1. Mash beans and then mix with remaining ingredients

2. Form bean mixture into patties and cook in a pan, 2-3 minutes per side

**Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes:

1 head cauliflower

1 clove garlic


Sliver of butter

1. Steam cauliflower and put in blender with garlic and S&P

2. Blend until they look like mashed potatoes! Top with bit o’ butter.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 9, 2010 9:38 am

    I was a vegan throughout college, after reading lots of literature on animal rights and health. After a few years of this lifestyle though, I felt run-down and unhealthy, and got more colds. I went back to being a vegetarian, which allows me to enjoy foods that I love – ice cream and cheese and eggs in particular – but still care about where my food comes from.

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